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The Mediterranean diet – a review of evidence relevant to the food and drink industry

Simon Poole (Firs House Surgery, Cambridge, UK)
Mabel Blades (Nutrition & Dietetic Services, Rushden, UK)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 1 February 2013




The purpose of this paper is to inform readers of the cultural and scientific basis of the Mediterranean diet.


This review was compiled using peer reviewed articles and with the support of Oldways, the non‐profit organisation responsible for designing the Mediterranean diet pyramid in association with Harvard School of Public Health. It is designed to create a resource, which could be disseminated within the food industry to stimulate debate and an understanding of the commercial opportunities for products based on the Mediterranean diet.


From the review of information on the subject there is compelling evidence of the benefits of a Mediterranean diet having a beneficial effect on health status with a reduction in conditions such as coronary heart disease and cancers.

Research limitations/implications

This is a literature review based on large studies of the Mediterranean diet and is not an intervention study.

Practical implications

It is hoped that the food industry can consider the scientific and market research evidence presented and, through innovation and new brand development, offer the possibility of products, which will promote choice and access to increasingly healthy foods.

Social implications

The compilation of evidence citing the benefits of the Mediterranean diet supports an easily adapted and flavourful diet with numerous health benefits. For the food industry it provides an original concept designed to support the research and development of new initiatives to promote healthy food products.


The benefits of the Mediterranean diet are shown to have significant benefits on health and are easily implemented.



Poole, S. and Blades, M. (2013), "The Mediterranean diet – a review of evidence relevant to the food and drink industry", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 7-16.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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